articles about it do not belong in the “Fashion & Style” section of a newspaper. they belong in the “Health” section, since, ya know, it’s a HEALTH ISSUE!
this is a huge problem. eating disorders hit a little (read: lot) close to home w/ me. they are dangerous, and the people suffering from them are sometimes reluctant to even admit that they have a problem.
i know. i have seen all the movies and lifetime specials. i have seen “The Karen Carpenter Story” and the movie w/ Tracey Gold basically playing herself. i have seen the health class and abnormal psych films where people rupture their stomachs and bled to death. one of my dearest friends from college nailed it on the head one night while i sat in his arms crying, “I am not going to insult your intelligence and tell you what you are doing to your body, or how it could kill you, but only tell you that you need to find whatever it is that makes you want to get better”.
the key word here is want.
most people w/ destructive disorders, be it binging and purging, cutting, hair pulling, alcoholism all know that they are hurting themselves. you can scare them and yell at them until the cows come home, but at the end of the day they need to be able to find something inside themselves that makes them want to get better.
i had to.
like the woman mentioned in the Times article, getting pregnant did that for me. all the yelling at me, the fighting w/ me, the hand wringing and worry, that did nothing. i had to find something inside myself (literally, in my case) that made me want to get better. it was a struggle, and i remember days where i still wanted to throw up. sometime after giving birth i was cleaning out an old purse and found a bottle of syrup of ipecac, and the temptations came flying back. shit, i still struggle today, w/ a body that can’t work out as much as i need/want to, the thoughts of getting thin at any cost swarm my mind sometimes.
what really doesn’t help people who struggle is when we go along w/ the new trend of self destruction support. all you have to do is a quick Google search to see the number of “ana” and “mia” websites out there, devoted to embracing eating disorders as a lifestyle. livejournal, facebook, myspace, and who knows how many other online communities support these types of “lifestyle choices”. the people living in this delusion call it just that, a lifestyle choice. they don’t believe that they have a disease.
if you go “downtown” here you can see the beautiful tourist women sporting the latest fashions, including these so called “support” bracelets. (on feministe i linked to one on ebay, but it now leads to a non “pro anorexia” bracelet, i can’t find another ana or mia bracelet) they are a fashion accessory showing solidarity for their life choice.
so when i call the Times’ decision to put that article in the “Fashion & Style” section completely irresponsible, it is b/c i fear for the people who are going to see it there and that it is going to reinforce this dangerous trend. we are already plagued w/ celebrities who are wasting away and supermodels who appear to have not eaten in days. we are barraged w/ fat shaming and told that weight is bad bad bad!!1!! out society and media support this brainwashing!
so, NY Times, you receive my highly coveted “fuck you of the day” for your careful journalism. thanks for supporting this deadly trend we are seeing today.
h/t to jill at feministe